Joined on December 20, 2004
Last Post on December 10, 2013
@ January 14, 2013 2:25 PM in venting to longThe boiler must be installed in accordance with the listed instructions. If the max. horizontal vent run is 50LF (per brochure), then you have to move the boiler regardless of venting material.
Now, It appears this boiler has been approved for venting with PVC if you use their kit. I would recommend you look into polypropylene venting instead, which can take higher temps. and is listed to UL 1738.
If the AL29-4c stainless steel is rotting out then what about the appliance? Has it been inspected? what do you have to trap and manage condensate?
@ January 14, 2013 10:05 AM in Cause of CO poisoning unknownWho you gonna call? I mean when you have a local incident with bodies being taken out of buildings, either to the hospital or meat locker, who do you call?
Let's say your local fire captain is aware of an NCI certified professional and has his number. Who's going to pay this contractor? The building owner is probably scared out of his mind and figures ANYONE investigating his incident is just there to hang him so he's not going to open his wallet. A licensed Cause and Origin Fire Investigator is almost always hired by the attorney representing the defendant's insurance company, who probably is not even aware of the incident yet. The municipal inspectors are clueless because the incident probably would not have happened if they knew and did their jobs but they have immunity from prosecution. So, you get a news reporters making stupid statements that first lead the response or lack thereof. The scene is not preserved. As soon as he can get a guy in there to *fix* the problem quietly, he will. This becomes a "spoliation of evidence", which will go badly in court against the owner. However, crucial evidence is lost so the truth becomes subjective rather than objective in many cases.
Let's say you have an incident where some of the flue tile collapsed sufficiently to block the vent connector causing CO to 'leak' into the building. Who's to blame? Well, NFPA 211 calls for annual inspection and maintenance as required as does the IBC. So, any improper installation, defect or deterioration that is passed on from last year is a breech of duty by the building owner. If he failed to provide p.o.s. UL listed CO alarms as required by many codes, then that would be a breech of duty as well. If the owner was properly warned by a service provider of defects but refused to mitigate or correct them, that is a breech of duty and probably gross negligence.
As for the service providers, each one who failed to inspect the chimney is partially at fault, with the last man in being the most at fault. Same for Makeup air, condition of vent connectors, etc. As for performance and combustion analysis, it gets trickier. If the mfr. states to perform CA in his manual then it must be done at commissioning. However, the duty to perform it annually becomes a little more cloudy. CA has not been universally endorsed or required at the national level by industry stds. of care but it has been proven so in court in some individual cases, which can be used against the defendants. Then you have all the mfrs.: appliance, gas controls, gas regulators, gas utility, etc.
So, in such cases, a lot of people may share the blame or "Comparative Negligence" depending upon State laws to apportion blame and financial responsibility.
Until we consolidate our feces, nobody will know who best to call, what local assets are qualified, who pays them and how to initiate their response to the fire ground while the situation is ongoing.
Yeah, they die warm but quickly assume room temperature. Obviously we need to educate a lot of people more about not just the hazards but the incident response process.
@ January 14, 2013 9:45 AM in 150psi press reliefIf the rating tag also indicates it being rated for 210F at 150 psi then it is a temperature/ pressure relief valve such as required on water heaters.
@ January 10, 2013 12:09 AM in Gas heating exhaust extremely loudThe SideShot uses its own proprietary listed vent duct--not single walled galvanized steel vent connector, which is not listed nor approved for positive vent pressure. This unit is adapted to unlisted single walled pipe and that is the misapplication. We can't see the chimney but it certainly is not venting directly through a wall using Tjerlund's duct kit.
@ January 8, 2013 9:14 AM in Gas heating exhaust extremely loudThis is not a sidewall venting application. Look at the installation instructions and literature of a SideShot, as in shooting out the side--not up a chimney. It power vents out a sidewall. Since it is listed as a unit, the entire assembly including the termination are fine. However, adapting this unit to traditional single wall unlisted vent connector is the problem.
@ January 7, 2013 1:54 PM in Gas Boiler and Water Heater Flue / VentingFirst of all, a homeowner should not be doing any work on the venting. This is NOT a DIY project. Hire a pro who is certified in Carbon Monoxide and Combustion Analysis.
From the little bit visible, there are many issues. The venting must be sized properly, connected and supported. That tee in the water heater vent connector serves no purpose other than to introduce too much dilution air into the vent, negate the purpose of a draft hood and provide a convenient place for fumes including carbon monoxide to escape.
The chimney should have a Level II inspection.
@ January 7, 2013 1:25 PM in Gas heating exhaust extremely loudIf this is a SideShot, which is listed for sidewall positive vent pressure but not for adaptation to conventional atmospheric venting, then it is illegal and must be shut down at once. Positive vent pressure venting must be listed to UL 1738. Single walled vent connector is not listed, and gooping the joints and seams is not a recognized modification to meet the listing requirement by the Codes. You can power vent by a device attached on the outside wall or roof termination that sucks the fumes out and is interlocked with the gas controls.
Also, it appears the vent connector reduces, which is not allowed on atmospheric venting. That elbow is not properly supported and is actually sagging downhill, which is not allowed.
@ December 11, 2012 9:48 PM in Does a Stainless Steel Chimney liner need annual cleaning?Most liners I'm familiar with require an annual inspection for maintaining the warranty and sweeping only as required. Solid fuel requires sweeping at least annually, if not monthly depending upon use/ burning characteristics/ etc. Oil requires sweeping when the burner is not properly setup or operating.
Gas fired liners should never require sweeping but should be inspected annually.
@ December 9, 2012 9:59 AM in Schools poisoningsMaybe parents should be sending their kids to school with a relatively inexpensive personal CO alarm clipped onto their school bags. I'm serious. I've personally seen paramedics do this on response to an old lady collapsing at a grocery store and over 20 people went to the ED including 5 to the Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber. This will only be addressed once people get involved. You let a kid take an alarm to school and call you if it goes off then see the firestorm as the school tries to forbid the carrying of a personal alarm and cover that one up.
By touching the boiler in question, they can committed as "spoliation" of evidence. Basically, this means a judge will clobber them and they essentially lose any defense they had. The administrators who ordered this as well as those in charge of mechanical systems and maintenance should lose their jobs, too.
@ December 7, 2012 8:42 PM in Condensate from chimmneyChimney liners must be listed to UL 1777, which is a bit misleading. This std. covers CAT I gas, oil and solid fuel applications. For CAT I gas, a liner may be listed even though it is aluminum or lower grade stainless steel, such as 304 or 304L. However, most pros use 316Ti now. The addition of molybdenum increases the corrosion resistance without sacrificing too much resistance to intergranular corrosion or the formation of chromium carbides at the boundaries at high heat. AL29-4c is 29% chromium and 4% moly, which does great against most but not all corrosion, such as from corn stoves but this alloy does poorly against high heat and is very difficult to machine and fabricate. You need to match the alloy to the fuel and class of service.
Since the UL STP voted to soften the requirements for aluminum liners (against my vote), I personally think alum. liners should be banned for all but direct vent gas fireplace applications. It cannot even pass UL 2158a as a listed dryer vent transition duct.
The new polypropylene venting systems show great promise over illegal Sch40 PVC although some are being listed under UL 1738, which is really not a liner listing but for CAT IV gas rigid venting. Stay tuned.
Regardless, the chimney should be inspected by a pro and repaired or upgraded as needed for the class of service.
@ November 8, 2012 10:35 PM in CO Poisoning in PA or VirusYep, they can be used to test if a subject has been smoking, too. I have seen this demonstrated twice in class.... ;-)
@ November 4, 2012 9:46 AM in Jump start oil burner without electricity?I ran my oil burner off a generator for several days. I had to disconnect it from the house wiring, use a serviceman's test cord that goes from a three pronged male to three alligator clips onto the various wires and run it that way taking care not to let anyone close to those exposed wires.
There are some logic circuits that cannot handle the waveform from generators and inverters so beware.
Be careful using fireplaces for heat. First of all, an open hearth will exhaust about 400-600 CFM with a typical fire. If it does not vent completely, you can get deadly CO poisoning.
Gas ovens can kill so don't use them for heat. They are allowed by ANSI Stds. to emit 800ppm CO legally on a good day once properly installed and operating.
Solar heat is generally either passive or solar panels generating a little extra power. They cost a fortune and must be installed over a new roof to boot.
@ November 3, 2012 8:48 PM in Seriously, you'd think people would know by now.We get Asians who cook indoors with hibachi grilles using charcoal, which produce gobs of CO. They won't listen to reason. My next door ethnic Chinese have two on the back porch.
@ October 28, 2012 9:55 AM in pressure regulator vent tubeThis is not DIY work. Get a pro before you blow yourself up.
That valve is a gas combination valve. The regulator on it has a vent limiter so it does not need a vent line. However, if you have a medium pressure regulator upstream of this appliance and inlet pressure above 1/2psi you may need a vent line off the regulator. A pro needs to do this. You are in way over your head here.
If the furnace used a separate gas line for the pilot it is old enough the entire unit should probably have been replaced, which would settle your issue.
@ October 27, 2012 1:55 PM in Inspector comes to his sensesWe have had discussions on this here so please check the archives.
PVC is not listed by UL but Inno Flue's polypropylene is for ex. The UL Stds Technical Panel cannot agree on a std. for glued polymeric venting. The PP has a slip joint so it can handle changes in dimension with temperature and has a max. temp rating of about 100F higher than PVC. B-vent is rated for 570F max. Appliance's have stated clearances to combustibles, which reflect 'worse case' scenarios so you should not require additional shielding to combustibles.
All the pvc mfrs. I'm aware of stat in their literature not to use their product for combustion venting. No, if mfrs. had to print warnings on the pipe for all the unapproved uses, you would only be able to buy 100 ft. diameter pipe to make room for all the warnings. They don't have to be idiot proof. Note that using pvc for combustion venting results in a transfer of liability or an assumption of risk by the appliance mfr. so the pvc mfr. actually has very little exposure.
@ October 25, 2012 7:10 PM in Failed steam boiler and chimney too small to ventIf this is Cat I gas then you don't need "class A" chimney--you can use the much cheaper B-vent.
Chimney is required for oil and wood> venting for gas (unless you use type 'L' vent for oil).. Confusing but a big difference.
With regards to power vent options such as retro fitting the WH as a power vented model, you can do that only if it has been tested and listed for that application and the venting approved for positive vent pressure. You can NOT use any type of 'chimney', B-vent or L-vent for positive vent pressure applications.
@ October 25, 2012 6:29 PM in Hole in exhaust pipeProbably a test hole for combustion analysis. See if there isn't one on both the intake and exhaust. Should be sealed with a plug or RTV silicone.
@ October 21, 2012 8:12 PM in Nice way to disguise ugly vent pipes - not painted yetI remember when the issue first came up at the death of 7 y/o Nicole Garofalo due to a snow drift blocking the vent termination on an LPG fired boiler. The Mass Fire Marshals' knee jerk reaction was a series of recommendations to Gov. Romney that including mandating a min. 48" termination under any and all conditions plus additional if snow could be expected to drift. They also wanted UL listed CO alarms interlocked with all fuel controls, which was impossible to do. I worked with a major fireplace mfr. on the impact this would have on our venting tables and it would have made a number of appliances disapproved for installation in Mass. When I heard Gov. Romney signed "Nicole's Law" into effect 5Nov. '05, I thought it included the 4ft rule. Upon further investigation, I see the compromise was the posting of a sign noting a vent termination below where it terminates less than 7' above grade with the admonition to keep clear and not block plus hardwired CO alarms on every floor. I should have double checked before posting.
@ October 21, 2012 7:05 PM in Teflon tape/paste and steam.Yes, PTFE is allowed by both the IFGC and NFPA 54. If you have information regarding failure of this product due to action with NG or LPG, please contact these code bodies with details.
I don't recommend PTFE tape on gas because shreds of it are notorious for clogging gas valves causing incidents. There are various thicknesses of PTFE tapes but the basic content remains identical.
@ October 21, 2012 6:53 PM in Where to put a CO detector?18" off the floor is good if you're a dog. Otherwise, put it where you breathe--typically btw 24-60" off the floor whether standing or sleeping. Should be within ~15LF of each sleeping room.
For maximum protection, throw out the CO detector and get an unlisted CO monitor
@ October 20, 2012 2:23 PM in Nice way to disguise ugly vent pipes - not painted yetThe Authority Having Jurisdiction or AHJ is the head code official for any municipality. It is his job not only to ensure everything that should be inspected gets inspected but that all his deputies operate within the rules. That means they are "code enforcement" officials---NOT code legislators. Any inspector can only inspect to the codes in force in his jurisdiction. If he doesn't like those codes, he can go through the process to amend them. This means submitting his proposal with supporting documentation for why the change is necessary, how it fits into the existing code, and if there have been any relevant interpretations by the International Code Council, NFPA, UL, ANSI, etc. There must be three public hearings during which citizens and contractors can get up an speak.
A code enforcement official does not have the power to trump a product listing. Once the code references a listing for a product to be used within their jurisdiction, he cannot trump it such as denying use of a listed assembly. The exception is such as in Mass where the State has gone over and above the regular code and required vent terminations to be at least 4ft above grade or above snow level. This is in excess of the code and product listings but does not negate the use of listed assemblies except you may need to use a snorkel termination to meet this requirement or reconfigure piping within the listing. If there is no conflict with a concentric vent termination such as snow or proximity to a corner, window, etc. then it must be allowed.
This code official does have a boss you can appeal to. You can also get a ruling from the ICC. Historically, they shoot down AHJs who have tried to exceed their code as written.
@ October 16, 2012 12:11 PM in Power vent condensation problemsI agree with Jim 100% on the post purge. I would add that if you're tired of replacing single walled galvanized chimney connector, you could replace it with type L vent, which has a stainless steel inner liner and warranted for 10-25 yrs depending upon mfr. and is listed to UL 641 for oil. Otherwise, pp. You can measure the time required simply by jumping out the exhaust so it runs constantly after the burner has shutdown and measure the stack Rh%. to chart them and see how long it takes to dry out. You can also disconnect the pipes after one minute intervals and manully inspect for presence of moisture condensed on the walls of the pipe or not. Also look at your CAZ Rh%. If your basement is soggy then no amount of post purge may dry it all out. Look to your gutters and leads away from the house, ground water, sump pumps, and indoor sources of moisture vs. ventilation. A $30 meter from Radio Shack can tell you your Rh% close enough.